Portrait Photography: 10 Tips You Must Know

Portrait Photography 10 tips by Owari Photography Studio

Portrait photography is one of the most common forms of artistic expression, especially in the modern era where most communicate through social media. Well, how do you make yours stand out in the vast void known as the internet? Much like everything, portrait photography is also a field of trial and error to find what sticks.

In the previous article, we covered a list of the best professional photographers. Now let’s look into some tips we can learn from them.

Portrait photography is perfect for showcasing the nature of a person, or even their personality. With online mediums such as Instagram, Snapchat, and now Facebook emphasizing the use of pictures to communicate. If you’re not tech-savvy or an old soul, portraits make most of your albums and would age very well on key events such as birthdays, weddings and graduations, etc.

So have a read on, we’ve selected simple tips and tricks to spice up your portrait photography and your Instagram as well!

1. Portrait Photography most important tip: Know your subject


When working on a project we tend to research on the topic right? Similarly it is important to get to know the subject/model, this way you’ll have more of a natural connection and understand what to picture. You’ll connect with the person on a deeper level and understand what they’re comfortable with, and similarly you can communicate what you’d like from them to get the most out of a session. The more comfortable you and the subject are, the better and smoother the procedure will be.

2. The ideal location

Almost everyone is aware that adequate lighting and location make most of a photograph, the subject is no doubt the core however the remaining space is occupied by the location you shoot at. The ideal time to shoot outdoors is during the morning and afternoon as the sun doesn’t add any shaded affects. Natural locations add their own beauty, but lighting is random and so is the weather. An indoor studio provides more customization and control but may take some technical knowhow.

3. Work with the camera you have

Most cameras nowadays have immense quality and can capture decent portraits without tweaking little to no settings. This all comes down to the person behind the device, not the device itself. It’s likely that your current camera is one you’ll have a comfortable hand on and will know how to operate with its optimal settings. Mobile phones have come a long way especially in terms of camera quality, but still lack behind DSLR’s and mirrorless cameras. These cameras are better for beginners and professionals alike, but no one setting can be established as each subject/location is different.

4. No harm in taking some inspiration

There’s a fine line between copying something and taking inspiration from, what we recommend is to use an image as a sample to understand your desired output. Another benefit from doing so would be to show your subject/model what you desire and they’ll be able to imitate what you need effectively.

5. Keep an eye out

Eyes are truly the windows to the soul, keeping an emphasis on this and making sure the eyes of a subject during a portrait shot are visible can truly make or break a great picture. Although some creative shots do not require you to do so, but for close-up shots you’ll definitely be better off doing so. If possible set your AF (Auto Focus) on the eyes to add a depth of field and make them look sharper.

portrait photography: they say the eyes are the doors to your soul

6. Adjusting Angles

If you’ve established a solid understanding of portrait shots, you’ll want to mix up let the creativity flow. Remember the first pointer about getting to know your subject? Keep that in mind and work around that. For example pets, children, adults and others etc require a different treatment to get a few decent shots. Focusing or highlighting certain features can bring the portraits to life.

Trying out different angles helps you discover exciting new things

7. Lights. Camera. Props!

You’re only limited by your imagination. Play around with lighting, or throw some props into the mix to add a fun twist to your photographs. Some quirky clothes, items to hold during pictures or even background Easter eggs. Aside from accessories for the subject, working around the location and lighting can lead to some interesting shots. Much like how people lean or push the Leaning Tower of Pisa in Italy, or how people use the sun during dusk as a ball.

8. No Filter:

Filters no doubt add a whole new depth to a mediocre picture, however it takes a professional to get a picture which requires little to no editing. Shooting in black and white or monochrome gives your photographs that extra drama or oomph if you will. Such lighting will bring out and highlight the subject, which is the sole purpose of portrait photography. Shooting RAW pictures is great way to preserve as much data as possible without any tempering, and keep the pictures at a higher resolution. Which may be edited to your own liking without any software tweaks.

9. Keepin’ it simple

It’s really easy to complicate pictures by overcrowding information, over editing with filters or overexposing with lighting. Most workshops or professionals will teach you by K.I.S.S which is an abbreviation for Keep It Simple, Stupid. Your main subject is always the person you’re capturing so try not to get lost amidst all the vast options.

10. Better camera = Better Pictures?

Not most people with agree, but it is universal fact that you’ll need a certain level of skill to operate equipment. If a person with no experience picks up the most expensive camera, and a professional has a base model who would you place your bets onto come out on top?

However, there is a certain level of quality and equipment you’ll need to stand out, so investing in a good camera is never off the table. It might be costly at first, but considering you’ll be using this device for a fair amount of time, the cost is expanded over that period.

Portrait Photography Tips by Owari Photography Studio – END

This wraps up the 10 Portrait photography tips you must know! If you are new to portrait photography, these incredible tips will help you level up your skills. It is all about indulging in a creative process, following the right techniques, and capturing subject in a unique way. This wraps up the 10 portrait photography tips you must know! We hope this article was helpful for you to start a new journey or master your photography skills.

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